The Ministry of Shipping had constituted a committee to study how the existing healthcare infrastructure at major ports can be upgraded under PPP mode to provide world class health services, along with affordable medical and paramedical education. Presenting its report to Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping and Road Transport and Highways in New Delhi on 14 July 2017, the committee has indicated possible alternatives by which port hospitals can be upgraded under PPP mode so that their healthcare facilities are augmented.
The report has also indicated the feasibility of starting of medical college and postgraduate specialty courses attached to port hospitals. According to the report, the hospitals at Mumbai Port which has more than 200 beds can be taken up for this, while hospitals at Cochin, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata ports can be considered for upgradation into tertiary care facilities, with a particular super specialty being assigned to a specific port hospital, which then becomes the super specialty center for all referral purposes by the other port hospitals. As such, Port Trust Hospital, Chennai could be availed for development of tertiary care facilities in the domain of cardiovascular thoracic surgery, Port Trust Hospital Cochin for nephrology, Port Trust Hospital Kolkata for neurology and neurosurgery and Port Trust Hospital Vishakhapatnam for gastroenterology and surgical gastroenterology respectively.
The report has also indicated certain policy changes that need to be brought in with the objective of widening the ambits of PPP mode and teachers eligibility qualification under the relevant regulations.
Speaking on the occasion Gadkari said that if port hospitals can be upgraded under PPP mode and if medical colleges and PG courses can be started at these hospitals, it will not only enhance the quality of health care available to people in and around the port area, but will also create educational and employment opportunities for the local youth. He said that this move will also help fill the huge shortage of doctors and paramedical staff in the country, and will make ports the drivers of economic change, enabling equitable and inclusive growth of the local area. He said this will also usher in the era of Smart Ports, Smart Cities and Smart Hospitals.
The committee was constituted on 6th May, 2016 under the chairmanship of Ved Prakash Mishra, Chancellor of Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University), Karad and Chairman of the Academic Committee of the Medical Council of India, New Delhi.